Simple Thai-style Lemongrass Shrimp Soup

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins

You won't believe how easy and good it is. Try this and you may never be able to eat a shrimp soup in a Thai restaurant again. This is a blend of two recipes from a really good Thai cookbook, adapted to use easier-to-find ingredients (as recommended in the book, ginger instead of galangal, lime juice instead of lime leaves) and simplified a little. You can make it also with thinly sliced chicken breast instead of shrimp if you add the chicken about the time you add mushrooms and tomatoes and cook everything for a bit longer.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Cut off the dry end and a few top leaves of the lemongrass stem.
  2. Bruise the stem with the handle of a knife and cut into 1-inch long pieces.
  3. Reserve.
  4. Bruise the chilies, cut them in half, scoop out and discard the seeds.
  5. Reserve the chilies.
  6. Bring the water to boil.
  7. Add lemongrass and ginger, and squeeze out half the lime into the water.
  8. Boil 2-3 minutes.
  9. Add fish sauce and chili-garlic paste.
  10. Cook for another minute.
  11. Add tomatoes and mushrooms.
  12. Cook for 2-3 minutes (or longer, until it boils and the tomatoes start to fall apart).
  13. Squeeze the other half of the lime into the soup.
  14. Take off the heat.
  15. Add the chilies and let stand a few seconds, then add the shrimp.
  16. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.
  17. Leave lemongrass, ginger and chilies in the soup and either try to pour the soup without them, or, better, pour the soup with chunks of lemongrass and ginger in it and warn your guests not to eat these.
  18. They do add flavour when left in the soup while you eat it.
Most Helpful

This is such a great recipe, both for the taste and for the incredible ease of preparation! I have used it with both chicken and shrimp (sometimes simultaneously), and I usually increase lemongrass and fish sauce somewhat; sometimes, I also add a bit of sugar and scallions. But really, this is pretty perfect, and it is also ideal for our low-calorie diet. Thank you, this has become a staple!

Vlada January 09, 2012

Made this tonight for me and my husband. This is definitely resteraunt quality. I could not find lemongrass. Used "Gourmet Garden"-Fresh Blends, Thai Herb & Spice Blend (This has all of the ingredients that was called in the recipe). I had clam sauce, so I used this instead of Fish sauce.Used fresh shrimp and put them in with the mushrooms and tomatoes. Like others I used chicken broth rather than water and added more lime, then threw the leftover lime into the pot to add more zest to it. This was absolutely delicious, We loved the heat and all the flavors this dish gives. It's a keeper! Next time I think I will try throwing in a pinch of cumin, and see what happens. Thank You for sharing!

raleipold December 16, 2010

I used this as a base for my soup for a sick friend. It came out wonderful. I upped the lemon grass to 2 stalks and grated the ginger and put it in the soup. I also added a can of coconut milk to make it authenticly Thai. It was a big hit with my sick friend and my family also wanted some because the fragant was wonderful. Keeper over here. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

YungB April 04, 2009